Food for Skin: To Eat & to Apply

Why look far when you can look in your kitchen?

The human skin is not only the body’s largest organ, it also functions as a protective barrier against injuries, pathogens and helps regulate body temperature. Without the skin, we will be vulnerable to germs, our body temperature will be unregulated and we will not be able to feel tactile sensations. Furthermore, a skinless body also means that our internal organs, muscles and bones will be exposed and this could potentially put our lives in danger. That is why taking care of your skin is beyond just appearance maintenance.

The first step to healthier skin is finding the right skin care products that can ensure vibrant and glowing skin. However, skin-related products can be a little on the pricey end in the market. On the bright side, there are also other options out there that you can consider without breaking the bank. One good avenue you can look into is food. The things we consume or ingest correlate both directly and indirectly towards our physical and mental health.

If you’re looking to improve your skin health on a budget, you need not look far. Take a peek into your pantry or kitchen, and you might just find what you need.

Foods that can be consumed for better skin health

#1 Tomatoes

Tomatoes are abundant with Vitamin C and they’re also known to contain carotenoids that can benefit your skin. Lycopene, a carotenoid found in tomatoes, is thought to help with skin cancer prevention when consumed in the long term.

Several studies have been conducted to study the efficacy of tomatoes and its benefits on the human skin. Findings from these studies show that people who included tomato paste in their diet daily experienced up to 40 percent less ultraviolet (UV) skin damage from sunlight as compared to those who did not.

#2 Fatty fish

Fatty fish contains a type of fat known as Omega-3 fats. Omega-3 is classified as a polyunsaturated saturated fatty acid (PUFA) which means it’s a type of nutrient that the body cannot naturally produce. Fishes that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids are sardines, salmon, cod, herrings and more.

There is plenty of proven research that links Omega-3 to healthier skin and that is why it’s one of the most popular ingredients in skin care products. Omega-3 is found to have the potential in helping with acne control, primarily in the prevention of acne and reducing the severity of it. 

There are also several studies that have reported a decrease in acne lesions when taking Omega-3 as a stand-alone supplement or in combination with other supplements. However, it should be noted that the effects differ according to the individual. If you’re looking to buy Omega-3 based products, it’s best to consult a health practitioner to ensure you get your money’s worth.

#3 Avocados

Vitamin C and Vitamin E found in Avocados are crucial when it comes to protecting your skin from the damage caused by the sun and other environmental aspects. Oxidative damage caused by the sun and environmental factors such as pollution can lead to signs of ageing. Hence, Vitamin C functions as an antioxidant that protects the skin. Avocados also contain Omega-3 fats which the body cannot produce by itself. Omega-3 is known to improve skin health

Ingredients that can be applied on the skin

#1 Honey

Raw honey is widely used as an exfoliator as it helps remove dry skin. Once the dry skin is removed with the help of honey, a new layer of skin cells will be revealed. Applying  honey on the face also helps with face acne, psoriasis and eczema. When using honey for these conditions, it’s crucial to use unpasteurised honey such as manuka honey.  

Unpasteurised honey can be applied in the form of paste or a face mask. The healthy bacterias found in unpasteurised honey helps to activate the immune system and aids with redness and inflammation. Honey has also been studied for its blemish-healing qualities.

#2 Yoghurt

If you intend to apply yoghurt on your face, it’s best to use regular, plain and unflavoured yoghurt. This is because the everyday cow’s milk yoghurt contains a significant amount of calcium in contrast to other types of yoghurt. 

You can also consider mixing other ingredients in the yoghurt face mask for added benefits. Some ingredients that can be added to the yoghurt face mask are turmeric and honey.

The general purpose of a facial mask is to better the texture of your skin. However, the benefits vary based on the ingredients as each ingredient has its own nutrients that it can offer.

It should be noted that yoghurt face masks as it is, offer a few benefits such as moisture retention, skin brightening potential, helping even out skin tone and more. Furthermore, probiotics found in yoghurt are also reported to aid in the treatment of other inflammatory skin conditions.

#3 Coconut oil

Applying coconut oil to your skin also helps hydrate it. People who have dry skin might find coconut oil helpful due to its moisturising effects. On top of moisturising, coconut oil also contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that could help with treating acne. Lauric acid (a form of fatty acid) found in large amounts in coconut oil is studied for its ability to kill a strain of bacteria linked to acne.

Sometimes it can be surprising to find out that everyday items in our pantry or kitchen possess the nutrients that could make our skin better. This is why it’s important to learn about what we ingest or put into our bodies. It helps us make the right choices for our health.

Sources: WebMD, Healthline & Medical News Today